Introduction: Erectile dysfunction (ED) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) share pathophysiological mechanisms and often co-occur. Yet it is not known whether ED provides an early warning for increased CVD or other causes of mortality.
Aim: We sought to examine the association of ED with all-cause and cause-specific mortality.
Methods: Prospective population-based study of 1,709 men (of 3,258 eligible) aged 40-70 years. ED was measured by self-report. Subjects were followed for a mean of 15 years. Hazard ratios (HR) were calculated using the Cox proportional hazards regression model.
Main outcome measures: Mortality due to all causes, CVD, malignant neoplasms, and other causes.
Results: Of 1,709 men, 1,284 survived to the end of 2004 and had complete ED and age data. Of 403 men who died, 371 had complete data. After adjustment for age, body mass index, alcohol consumption, physical activity, cigarette smoking, self-assessed health, and self-reported heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes, ED was associated with HRs of 1.26 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01-1.57) for all-cause mortality, and 1.43 (95% CI 1.00-2.05) for CVD mortality. The HR for CVD mortality associated with ED is of comparable magnitude to HRs of some conventional CVD risk factors.
Conclusions: These findings demonstrate that ED is significantly associated with increased all-cause mortality, primarily through its association with CVD mortality.